My heart broke a little more this week as Aidan’s weekly blood results showed his kidneys are close to failing him. Although dialysis is still a little way off, the results have once again reminded me that we are on borrowed time.
It’s times like this, when I reflect on a life without Aidan, that I start obsessing over capturing every detail of his life. I spend a little more time each day staring at him, trying to remember every line of his face, every little word he says. I’m reminded to take more videos and ensure I get all the right photos to remember him by. However, it occurred to me this week that the things I cherish most about Aidan are not the things I can capture in a photo.
I recently read the book, Wilfrid Gordon McDonald Partridge by Australian author, Mem Fox, to Aidan. The book is about a little boy who lives next door to a nursing home. When he overhears his parents saying his special friend, Nancy, is losing her memory he sets out to find what a memory is. He asks the other residents for help and learns that a memory is “something from long ago”, “something that makes you cry”, “something that makes you laugh” and “something as precious as gold”. Without a doubt my memories of Aidan will be a combination of all these things.
So I’ve started compiling a list of all the things I love about him that cannot be captured on camera. Here’s what I have so far:
- The way his little hand fits perfectly into mine
- The way he reaches out this little hand for me to hold when he is vomiting or in need of comfort
- The phrases he yells when he’s angry with me (in theory I could film these but I’m usually too busy arguing with him)
- The squishy hugs he gives when I lie next to him in bed
- The way he tells me he isn’t going to do what I ask while he sets about doing exactly what I ask
- His incessant talking when I pick him up from school
- His excitement when he spots a postman as we drive along the street.
These are just the tip of the iceberg. I know there will be thousands more that will come to me long after he has passed, bringing both sorrow and joy.